Solar

SolarWorld Opens 500-MW Solar Cell Manufacturing Facility

SolarWorld has opened one of North America’s largest solar cell manufacturing facilities. The new plant is located in Hillsboro, Oregon and is expected to reach a capacity of 500 megawatts (MW) by 2011.

SolarWorld Hillsboro is a 480,000 square foot facility, measuring one-quarter mile end-to-end. Raw silicon is transformed through the manufacturing process into solar cells that are shipped to the SolarWorld Camarillo plant where they are processed into solar panels.

SolarWorld acquired the Hillsboro factory, which belonged to Japan’s Komatsu Group, in March 2007 for US $40 million and is investing more than US $400 million in the new facility. The company expects to employ 1,000 people at the Hillsboro facility by 2011 to meet this increasing demand worldwide.

“The need for affordable and efficient energy alternatives represents a global issue and is more critical than ever,” said Frank Asbeck, CEO of SolarWorld. “SolarWorld has more than 30 years invested in solar technologies and today is helping to bring real alternatives to market through a strategy focused on high-volume manufacturing. The new Hillsboro facility is our most shining example of this strategy in practice.”